How to setup a competitive advantage against bigger business
Most of us in business have been told that people are your most enduring competitive advantage. What then happens when most of your staff leaves, or when your competitors get better staff?
Should not your competitive advantage be a barrier to entry that will scare most competitors from venturing into your niche?
Your competitive advantage means going beyond the mindset of the ‘necessity to compete’ to the mind set of ‘already having won’. Every business whether big or small need to setup a competitive advantage against it competitors.
A little competition can be a healthy thing. In this post, I will be sharing with you how you as a business owner can setup a competitive advantage against bigger companies competing with your business.
1.Examine Your Business
The first step you need to take to setup a competitive advantage against bigger companies is to examine your business. In today’s competitive world, it is not enough to just say I own a business or store, you need to define your business mission and vision in the marketplace.
Ask yourself these following questions;
a.What makes my business/company special
b.Where do I see my business in 5 years’ time?
c. Is the way I operate my business unique?
d.Do I service a niche market? Are there any market that could benefit from my products and services?
2.Define Your Competitors
Now that you have clear understanding about your business, it will be also wise to take a look at your competitors to see how you can setup a competitive advantage against them.
A competitive advantage against your competitors means you need to be offering something your competitors are not offering to their customers. For you to do this, you need to know what your competitors are doing but not doing well.
Think about their services, products, price and packages. How are they doing their marketing, where are they advertising their products and services and what are their results?
Compare this to your list of advantages. Which strength does your competitors have that you don’t.
Gathering data of your competitors are what you need to do to be able to setup a better competitive advantage against bigger companies.
3.Survey and Identify Your Customers
Excellent nonverbal and consumer behaviour skills will be required to recognize and understand what the subtle shifts in consumer behaviour will affect your competitive advantage in the immediate and short-term future.
Once you have a handle on your competitors, the next important step is to clearly define who your customer base is.To clearly identify your customers, you need to ask yourself the following questions;
a.What are my customer’s need?
b.What motivate my customers to buy?
c. What products or services are my customers more willing to buy more?
d. What are my customer’s buying trends and habits?
A good way to identify what your customers want is to talk with them and really listen to what they have to say. Customer feedback can be a cheap and invaluable tool in creating a competitive edge.
4. Review Your Core Strength
Once you have finished analyzing business, competitors and customers, you are now ready to setup your competitive advantage. And as you have identified your strength over your competitors, you can now review them and use it as an advantage to beat them.
You may have a major strength in your product quality or your service delivery, major on it and use it against bigger companies. You can add speed as one area of strength in your business. This is one advantage FedEx has over UPS.
5.Differentiate Your Products and Services
Look for one or more marketable attributes that you have that can set your products and services apart from your competitors. Then find the segment of the market that finds those attributes important and market to them.
Is it long battery life? Free shipping? Lowest price ever? Or Money back guarantee? This process can also work in the other direction by conducting research to determine which things customers will find welcoming.
6.Form an Alliance with Other Companies
Partnership or forming an alliance with another company can be an excellent way to gain a competitive edge. Some business owners do this when they find out that they can’t beat their competitors alone.
They alliance with other top companies that sell complimentary products or services to their own and use it as their advantage because two smart heads are better than one.
7. Stay on the Cutting Edge
Once you have finally setup your competitive advantages, you job is far from finish. You need to make sure you remain competitive in terms on how you choose to stay competitive.
After all, your competitors are not going to sit back and allow you to steal their market share.As markets change every day, focus on a strategy that is flexible and helps your business be competitive.